[Advaita-l] Accepting Possibility of Error in Sastras
rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Mon Dec 31 02:27:09 CST 2012
We may accept apauresheyam on faith and refuse to consider alternate
positions. But there are scholars who challenge that it is not possible for
the vedas to be apauresheyam from the perspectives of linguistic evolution,
philology, gentics and archaelogy. Or vedas themselves do not
support apauresheyam. http://apaureshyatva.blogspot.co.uk/ It is important
for the traditional scholars to consider the arguments and respond. I
believe that has been the spirit of the tradition.
Here is one example to show that vedanta tradition is not dogmatic. As we
know, some of the smrti shastras talk about earth being fixed and held by
four elephants. Sri Bharathi Teertha Swamigal, the current peetathipathi of
Sringeri, writes about his guru Sri Abhinava Vidyaterrtha Swamigal,
"Through his discourses, common folk could understand the topics of srutis,
smrtis, itihasas and puranas that would have otherwise been difficult for
them to comprehend. He was not in the least dogmatic. The ancients held
that the earth is fixed while the modern scientists aver that it moves.
'All that is ancient is not good nor is a work censurable because it is
modern. The wise accept an alternative after examination; the unwise are
guided by the beliefs of others. (MalavikAgnimitra I.2).' In keeping with
this statement of the pre-eminent poet Kalidasa, His Holiness subscribed
only to the position that the earth moves. He ignored, in this manner, the
distinction of ancient and modern in numerous matters and gave weight only
to that which was reasonable and accorded with evidence." (rf. Yoga,
Enlightenment and Perfection Page 6).
Personally, I find it refreshing because I can be intellectually honest
rather than reject truth on blind faith.
This is one example to show that the vedanta tradition is not dogmatic
On Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 3:47 AM, Swami Sarvabhutananda <
swami.sarvabhutananda at gmail.com> wrote:
> What is born of purusha yatnam has limitations!
> Vedanta vishayam is undisputable provided you are an adhikAri!!
> NO AUTHOR IS AVAILABLE FOR THE VEDAS EXCEPT MAHARISHI VEDAVYASA EDITED THE
> The subject matter is so very true and acceptable to human beings!!!
> SWAMI SARVABHUTANANDA
> On Sun, Dec 30, 2012 at 7:57 AM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <
> svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:
> > > If every statement of the veda is only an anuvada, then how can it be
> > > apauresheya? Or is it that apauresheyam is also an anuvada?
> > >
> > > On unseen matters such as the result of yajna that yields svarga, we
> > > have any means of knowledge other than the shastras. But in the case of
> > > seen matters (e.g. structure of solar system), we have pratyaksha and
> > > anumana as an alternate source of knowledge. In such cases, which view
> > > should be accepted - a) one that is supported by observed facts and
> > > reasoned inference (science) or b) one based on shastras?
> > >
> > There are well reasoned out rules of interpretation that take care of all
> > this. When one says SAstra,
> > one needs to distingyuish between Sruti and all else. It is absolutely
> > necessary to keep in mind that
> > apaurusheyatva is a characteristic of Sruti alone, not of smRti, itihAsa,
> > purANa, yogaSAstra, dharma-
> > SAstra texts etc.
> > Descriptions of the physical universe in these texts do not need to be
> > taken as literally true. There will
> > be many details in these other texts that go contrary to contemporary
> > knowledge about the earth, the
> > solar system etc. There is no need to put too literal a meaning on what
> > these texts say. There are many
> > other layers of meaning in them beyond the literal.
> > Even if you find some Sruti reference that is seemingly contradicted by
> > today's scientific knowledge,
> > there are other ways to understand the Sruti vAkya, which will bypass the
> > apparent contradiction. To
> > be more specific, the adhidaiva and adhyAtmika levels of meaning in Sruti
> > can never be contradicted by
> > science. Maybe the adhibhautika meaning may come into conflict here and
> > there, but I'm not particularly
> > aware of any such feature in Sruti. Non-Sruti texts that are broadly
> > accepted as SAstra are a different
> > cup of tea. But as I pointed out, we don't claim these other texts as
> > apaurusheya.
> > Vidyasankar
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